For the last two weekends I’ve had the pleasure of fishing at Draycote water, a water which is now classed as one of the best top of the water fisheries in the UK, and boy did it live up to that statement!
At the beginning of both days the weather wasn’t really in our favour with bright, warm sunshine and light winds. Fortunately there were a couple of fish hitting the surface, mostly to fry around the jetty and the odd fish sipping buzzers. I tackled up with the 12ft fast intermediate mini tip from Airflo, a four fly setup, a sunburst booby on the point, two diawl bachs and a cruncher on the top dropper, all strung together on 10.4lb soft plus Grand Max fluorocarbon.
Tofts was literally stuffed with fish, they were extremely high in the water and would chase the booby as soon as it had hit the surface. One thing I noticed was that if your flies didn’t turn over, you’d struggle to get any takes. The weight of the nymphs and heavy leader above would be just enough to drag the booby down before you had chance to straighten the leader, so turn over was key.
After the first initial ‘pop’ of the booby and there was nothing following, the key was to slow up and fish the booby close to the surface and let the nymphs fall through the top foot or two of water. After the first two or three drifts on both sessions we’d put plenty of fish in the boat ranging between 2.5lbs and 4lbs, a great average for the number of fish caught! As the day progressed we got more follows to the booby, this indicating that the fish had come up even higher in the water with the building cloud.
I came off the mini tip and strung up with a straight floater and two dries on 6lb nylon. The flies were spaced around 10 feet apart, with a 5ft length from a floating poly-leader. First cast, rose one to the top dropper but missed it, a size 12 hopper, re-cast and placed it back in the same place, it came back, this time not leaving it behind.. A cracking first fish on the dry with full silver bloom in its tail.
The fishing from here on was immense with action every drift to the dries. When fishing dries I usually cast very short, usually only 5/6 yards from the boat, mainly to aid sight of the flies but on that particular day the fish were so high in the water, you could literally drop the flies to the end of your rod tip and they would eat it. Being so high in the water the fish couldn’t see the boat, hence them coming closer.